The Norwegian picked up from where he left off before the pandemic suspended football and helped his side to a convincing victory
Erling Haaland confidently claimed his immediate return to scoring form came as no surprise after helping Borussia Dortmund to a big Bundesliga win over Schalke.
The 19-year-old Norwegian struck the opener in his side’s 4-0 victory at Signal Iduna Park on Saturday as Germany’s top tier resumed following a two-month suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Raphael Guerreiro added a brace either side of an emphatic Thorgan Hazard finish to complete the Revierderby rout for hosts Dortmund, who showed few signs of rust.
Haaland suggested his 10th goal in nine Bundesliga appearances was to be expected despite admitting he was not yet fully up to speed.
“Of course I’m not the same. I haven’t been playing games for seven weeks, so of course not,” he told the Bundesliga’s official website.
“But I know I have been working hard this period and I am not surprised [to score], no.”
Haaland and Dortmund benefited from a brilliant Julian Brandt display that steered the title contenders to within a point of leaders Bayern Munich.
The attacking midfielder was involved in all four goals, each of them celebrated in unusual fashion as players attempted to keep contact to a minimum.
“You have to find a way to make the most of the situation and have fun,” Brandt said.
“What better way to start than with a win? Obviously I’d prefer if conditions were normal, but it is what it is. It wasn’t a perfect performance, but I’m happy after such a lengthy hiatus.”
Dortmund’s preparations for the match were rocked after Giovanni Reyna, who was named in their starting line-up, was withdrawn after suffering an injury in the warm up.
The 17-year-old was hoping to make his first Bundesliga start and manager Lucien Favre is hoping the injury isn’t too severe as he looks to keep his team fit after a lengthy hiatus.
“A lot of teams will have a few players who will be injured,” Favre said. “We started very late with the 10 against 10 games, tackling and so on.
“I hope Reyna has nothing. It won’t be long for [Axel] Witsel and [Emre] Can, [Dan-Axel] Zagadou won’t play again this season.
“Marco Reus has not yet played with the team. Nico Schulz has injured himself again, he is not allowed to do anything for two to three weeks.
“Hazard only had cramp, no injury.”